Lucknow, September 17
Rohan Bopanna brought the curtains down on his Davis Cup career with a comfortable straight-set win alongside Yuki Bhambri before Sumit Nagal won his reverse singles as India advanced to the World Group I playoffs with a 4-1 triumph against Morocco here today.
The 43-year-old Bopanna, coming out to play his 33rd and final tie, and Bhambri raced to a 6-2 6-1 win over Elliot Benchetrit and Younes Lalami Laaroussi in one hour and 11 minutes.
India’s No. 1 singles player Nagal outgunned Yassine Dlimi 6-3 6-3 in the first reverse singles to seal the World Group II tie. It is only the second time that Nagal has won both his singles matches in a Davis Cup tie. He had got a similar result under his belt while playing against Pakistan in Kazakhstan in 2019.
Nagal earned early breaks in both the sets, leaving Dlimi playing catch-up in the contest that ended in one hour and 43 minutes.
Rookie Digvijay Pratap Singh, who ended runner-up at the Fenesta Nationals last year, won the inconsequential fifth rubber against Walid Ahouda 6-1 5-7 10-6 on his debut.
Morocoo won only one rubber in the tie when Sasikumar Mukund conceded the opening singles against Dlimi due to cramps.
An emotional Bopanna rested his India shirt on the court, marking the end of his Davis Cup career in which he played 50 matches in 33 ties, winning 23 rubbers, including 13 in doubles.
Watched by his family and friends, Bopanna, who made his Davis Cup debut in 2002, acknowledged the fans’ appreciation and blew kisses towards the spectators.
Asked why he has decided to quit Davis Cup when he will still be active on Pro Tour, Bopanna said: “The number one thing is that there is another Indian who takes my spot. On the tour, that’s not going to happen. And over the years, a week off here and there before big events has made that difference. So if I stop Davis Cup and get those two weeks off, it makes such a big difference in terms of how my body is feeling and everything.”
“Also, we have a daughter who’s four years old. I would like to spend time also at home. It has been a fantastic journey, everything has to come to an end,” he added.
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